Dream a Little Dream
A Shine Valley Novel
February 23, 2021
Blurb: A small-town judge meets her match in a rodeo star troublemaker, but soon they may both end up targets of the town’s matchmakers in this delightful and heartwarming tale of romance.
Darcy Jones Harper is thrilled to have finally shed her reputation as the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. The people of Sunshine Valley have to respect her now that she’s the new town judge. But when the bad boy who broke her heart back in high school shows up in her courtroom, she realizes maybe things haven’t changed so much after all . . . because her pulse still races at the sight of him.
Jason Petrie wants to make amends for the mistakes of his youth—starting with the woman he never stopped loving. Darcy may not believe that he really intends to quit the bull riding circuit and stick around this time but Jason vows—with the help of the matchmaking Widows Club—to pull out all the stops to convince her that they both deserve a second chance.
Darcy Jones and Jason Petrie met when they were troubled teenagers, fell in love, and turned their lives around. Their love seemed set in stone until Darcy saw Jason kiss a woman after winning at bull riding, a kiss that seemed more ardent than advertising. At least to Darcy so she broke them up and then married Judge Harper, who had been her mentor for years. But now the Judge is dead and Darcy’s suddenly the town judge and has a reputation to uphold, one that being with Jason could only ruin.
I had not read a Melinda Curtis book until the Sunshine Valley series, but now I’m going to be a faithful reader and if that had ever been in doubt, Dream a Little Dream cemented it. In this series, Curtis has created a wonderful cast of multi-layered characters, all different in their own ways, and some delightfully eccentric. She even tackles multi-generation point-of-views, which is rarely done in romance novels. My only criticism regarding her characterization of some of her 60-plus-year old characters is that they seem older than the 60-plus-year olds I know in real life. Truly, 60 is the new 50.
The pairing of Darcy and Jason is romantic, sweet, and lovely. Jason turned out to be my favorite character in the novel, which I didn’t expect on the way in. He seems to always be thinking of Darcy, and one presumes that this has always been the case. He remembers her favorite things, her habits, and the date of her mother’s birthday and what that date will mean to her. His character was one element that made this novel work so exceptionally well for me. Jason is a Prince Charming in a Stetson and Fryes.
I also liked the way the romance unfolded. There wasn’t the angsty, push-and-pull stuff that I no longer find romantic. Darcy and Jason felt like a mature (mostly, Jason took awhile to get that title despite being a Prince Charming) couple, acknowledging how they felt, and, on Darcy’s part, why it probably wouldn’t/couldn’t work.
Dream a Little Dream is warm-hearted, funny, and great escapism. And, it’s due to Melinda Curtis’ ability to create characters that her readers care about that makes this novel so very good. I’m hoping that we’ll go back to Sunshine Valley for another installment.
While the Sunshine Valley series is a series with recurring characters, Dream a Little Dream could be read as a standalone although I believe you’d enjoy bingeing on the entire series just to keep up with the antics of the Widows Clubs and Darcy and her friends.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies